I'm extremely afraid of heights. Every time I get on an airplane, I feel like I'm walking to my death. I can't even be close to the windows in a high rise for fear that the edge of the building might actually break off, leaving me falling to my death. Completely irrational, I know. I get to deal with this fear regularly by going snowboarding. The high speed chair lifts are the best, except when they come to a screeching halt, leaving the chair rocking back and forth, especially if the chair doesn't have a safety bar to hold you in to the seat. My friend, James, is even more afraid of falling from a chair than I am, so I couldn't help but think of him when I read this story at the Smoking Gun:
Man left dangling upside down, pantsless after Vail lift mishapJANUARY 6--In a bizarre incident that will surely lead to litigation (or an out-of-court settlement), a skier at Colorado's ritzy Vail resort was left dangling upside down and pantsless from a chairlift last Thursday morning. The January 1 mishap apparently occurred after the male skier, 48, and a child boarded a high-speed lift in Vail's Blue Sky Basin. It appears that the chairlift's fold-down seat was somehow not in the lowered position, which caused the man to partially fall through the resulting gap. His right ski got jammed in the ascending chairlift, and that kept him upended since his boot never dislodged from its binding. As seen in the photos on the following pages (which were snapped by fellow skiers), the Skyline Express lift was stopped shortly after the pair's botched boarding resulted in the man dangling from the lift. The exposed skier was stuck for about 15 minutes before Vail personnel backed the lift up and successfully dislodged the unidentified man from the four-seat chair. The images on page four and five were taken by a local photographer who happened upon the rescue scene. In a statement released this afternoon, Vail Resorts, which operates the ski area, reported that the skier was not injured after being "suspended for approximately seven minutes." The press release did not explain how the mishap occurred, only that "the man was caught on the chair."
**as a side note, I don't know WTF is wrong with Blogger. I changed the font of the first portion of this post about 10 times without any results and have finally given up.